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Excellence Labs

An exclusive community where SME owners share experiences and best practice


Join an exclusive, life-long learning community of ambitious SME owners – and get practical, robust insights that will help your business professionalise and grow. The Excellence Lab is a confidential, informal forum where members share personal and professional experiences. Each session is led and moderated by experts, including Vlerick faculty and seasoned entrepreneurs – And we work with you to co-create the agenda.

The Excellence Lab is offered to entrepreneurs who’ve participated in a long-term programme at Vlerick. We carefully select each peer group to make sure all members have a powerful learning experience. Each programme edition lasts for two years.

Detailed programme

Growing a business comes with many challenges. But the Excellence Lab is here to help you accelerate and professionalise your organisation and achieve your ambitions. You’ll gain practical insights into the critical success factors for business growth – and at the same time, become an even better leader.

This six-day programme has two tracks:

  • Insight track: Five modules cover the latest management theories, models and tools that can help you scale your business. Through case studies and peer discussions, you’ll apply them to your own organisation.
  • Implementation track: After each module, you’ll work on your own company, translating your new knowledge into practical actions to accelerate personal and business growth.

This programme is co-created with our members – so the detail may vary.

The Insight track contains five modules:

Module 1: Growth scan

  • Use the 360° growth capability scan to discover the business areas with the most potential for growth
  • Build your vision to grow your business sustainably
  • Evaluate your progress at a personal and professional level
  • Spot growing pains and identify areas to improve to achieve further growth
  • Take part in personal coaching to define your action plan

Module 2: Building resilience at the workplace

  • Learn to take your organisation from vulnerable to resilient, from stuck to agile and from busy to creating value
  • Get individual feedback and insights from your colleagues into how you work and lead
  • Challenge yourself in a group coaching session
  • Create a plan to improve self-care, resilience, agility, and energy across your company
  • Learn to navigate through turbulent times while staying mentally resilient and emotionally balanced
  • Reflect on your own leadership skills and behaviour to lead people and your organisation
  • Motivate your team to perform even better by leading by example

Module 3: Board room sessions*

  • Join our Entrepreurs-in-Residence in a board room setting
  • Discuss topics like M&A, digital marketing, CRM, sustainability and fundraising – choose the topic most relevant to you
  • Get detailed and honest feedback on your specific challenges in sounding board sessions

*This is part of V-Entrepreneurs – Vlerick’s broader entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Module 4: Strategic (re)analysis and implementation – with your management team

  • Determine where you stand today and where you want to go – and define how to get there
  • Understand why strategy is essential to success – and as important as daily operations
  • Conduct a thorough analysis of your current business model and define actions to create and implement a winning strategy
  • Translate your plans into specific milestones, actions and objectives for the whole company (people, processes and resources)

Module 5: Building an effective reporting system – including dashboard design

  • Discover the processes and systems you need to professionalise your business and monitor strategy implementation
  • Explore a simulation to find out how dashboards can steer and track strategy execution
  • Learn how to help your employees use the systems/dashboards
  • Understand how to help your company achieve its performance goals

Implementation track

This is designed to help you put theory into practice. After each Insight module, you’ll take part in an interactive Q&A call. First you’ll hear from an owner-entrepreneur about their biggest mistake and biggest achievement (related to the module topic). Then you’ll join your peers in a breakout room to share challenges and get valuable feedback.

At the beginning and end of the programme, you’ll use Vlerick’s 360° growth scan – and take part in individual coaching – so you can track your progress and get a clear understanding of where you can improve.

Why this programme

  • Join a powerful, peer-to-peer learning community of growth-oriented SME owner-managers
  • Gain tailored insights that will help you accelerate your personal and business development
  • Develop concrete action plans and get valuable feedback from peers
  • Deepen your thinking by accessing cutting-edge thought leadership and engaging in open and confidential discussion

Who should attend

  • This programme is open to alumni of the SME Excellence, SME Challenge, MBA or Masters programmes
  • We welcome ambitious SME owners who own companies with at least 12 FTEs and want to professionalise further
  • Membership of this high-quality group of entrepreneurs is by invitation only